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Judge rules in voter ID case

JACKSON — Chancellor Denise Owens of the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County has denied a declaratory judgment is a case involving voter signatures and the state’s number of congressional districts.

Plaintiff Joseph E. “Joey” Fillingane brought the suit, contending that since the voter signature requirement was enacted when Mississippi had five congressional districts instead of the current four, that the old districts should be used when determining voter signature requirement.

Owens ruled that the Secretary of State’s Office had taken an identical position. Therefore, she found no actual controversy, and was not persuaded that Fillingane “will sustain a loss or an invasion of rights.”

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said in a statement, “The Chancery Court has ruled there is no difference between the secretary of state, the attorney general and the plaintiff concerning certifying signatures from five congressional districts rather than the current four for the Voter ID Initiative. The judge is correct in that interpretation, and the secretary of State will certify all initiatives based upon five congressional districts.”

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